The Symposium

Reimagining Police Surveillance:
Protecting Activism and Ending Technologies of Oppression

The Journal of Law Reform’s 2021 Symposium, titled Reimagining Police Surveillance: Protecting Activism and Ending Technologies of Oppression, aims to inform participants about the harms of policing via surveillance technologies and to encourage participants, local and state government officials, activists, practitioners, and scholars to educate themselves on how police surveillance technologies are being used in their communities and reimagine how such technologies might be used to achieve their desired goals, if at all. 

The Symposium will consist of five panel discussions with leading experts covering the topics of  police surveillance methods in the United States, technological expansions of police surveillance technology, police surveillance of social movements and public protests, and the disproportionate impact of increased use of police surveillance technologies on communities of color. After exploring the effects and uses of police surveillance technology by police in the United States, the week will culminate with a discussion around how policymakers, lawyers, governmental officials, and private citizens can and should think about police surveillance technology reform in the future.

Symposium attendees will be asked to engage with the following questions: Is it worth the cost to our privacy and liberty to implement certain police surveillance technologies? Do we think police surveillance technologies work? If we think that these technologies are effective, who do they serve? What limits are we willing to set? What penalties do we want to impose upon police for failing to observe these limits? And lastly, how might abolitionist ideology fit into these conversations? 

Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Michigan Journal of Law Reform is one of the oldest and most well respected law and policy publications in the nation. It publishes cutting-edge legal scholarship by both academics and legal practitioners. Established in 1968, the Journal finds its roots in a desire to propose constructive, well-reasoned reforms in all areas of the law.

In the Journal’s inaugural issue, Professor Francis Allen summarized the publication’s purpose in the following way: “In short, it seeks to promote the improvement of law and its administration in all areas in which needs are disclosed and in which useful proposals can be advanced.” True to these words, the Journal’s Editorial Board has consistently sought out and published articles on a diverse range of legal issues, eschewing the narrow focus of many legal publications.

The Journal also regularly sponsors symposia. These multi-day events provide an in-depth examination of one area of law in need of reform, with presentations by some of the most prominent and compelling scholars and practitioners in that field. The ideas presented at these symposia are then consolidated and published in article form in the Journal’s Summer Issue. Previously, symposia have focused on such varied topics as jury reform, products liability law, and school finance revitalization of American cities.

Please explore our website to learn more about our publications, symposia, submissions, subscriptions, and more.